Rain, rain, go away
It wasn't much of a holiday for emergency crews, who spent July 4 evacuating campers, unsnarling downed trees from power lines and hoping for a break in the torrential rains that have soaked Caldwell County in recent days.
And things didn't let up Friday, when the raging waters of the Yadkin River washed out part of N.C. 268.
From Monday through 7 a.m. Friday, Lenoir received 6.4 inches of rain -- 3.25 inches on Monday alone. In the entire month of July 2012, this area received 5.9 inches of rain, said meteorologist Danny Gant of the National Weather Service's Greenville, S.C., office.
On Monday, most of the rain fell in the central portion of Caldwell County, including Collettsville. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the eastern and western portions of the county were hit hard, with 3 inches in the northwestern portion on Wednesday.
According to Larry Price, captain of the Collettsville Fire and Rescue Department, his crew assisted the U.S. Forest Service about 11 p.m. Thursday rescuing nine people from the Mortimer Campground, about 10 miles north of Brown Mountain Beach. Rising waters on Wilson Creek flooded a bridge, stranding the campers from access to N.C. 90. As many as 120 campers also were being asked to leave the campground because of the rising waters.
Old Johns River Road, Playmore Beach Road at Adako Rode, Globe Road and Wilson Creek Road were all closed Thursday night because of flooding of the Johns River and Wilson Creek, said Kenneth Teague, Caldwell County's assistant emergency management coordinator. Old Johns River and Playmore Beach roads were still closed Friday.
On Friday, the Yadkin River eroded about 110 feet of roadway, making the road impassable. The highway is closed between its two intersections with Laytown Road, which is serving as a detour route.
Collettsville fire crews also cleared eight trees that had fallen in roadways Thursday.
Forecasts do not call for much dry weather any time soon. The chance of showers and thunderstorms is at least 60 percent through Sunday, according to forecasts the National Weather Service issued Friday afternoon, and at least 30 percent through Thursday.